The private sector, especially technology enterprises, has become a key in contemporary international development cooperation. On the one hand, a vivid and strong private sector is the main engine of any economy and well-functioning innovation system. On the other hand, the private sector’s general interest is always in its own business activities, not in broader development or its inclusiveness in the Global South. The private sector’s emphasised role in international development cooperation makes the development objectives and targets even more intricate.

Current international development cooperation and practices focus on strengthening and building the capacity of the emerging local private sector in Africa. Donor countries support innovations for development via the local technology start-up scene, co-creational hubs and attempts to engage locally with Africa’s huge informal sector. However, the donor countries are allocating increasingly substantial parts of their funding towards enhancing the economic development of their private sector enterprises operating in the Global South.